Carvaggio’s Passing – Art History

 

If you were looking for a cross between art history and murder mystery I suppose this would have to be it…

 

Dial M for murder

Mercenary and magical
Jul 1st 2010

Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane. By Andrew Graham-Dixon. Allen Lane; 544 pages; £30. Buy from Amazon.co.uk

MICHELANGELO MERISI, called Caravaggio, died in Porto Ercole on the Tuscan coast on July 18th or 19th 1610. No one knows for sure because he died alone. Even so, we know more about him now than any of his contemporaries did. Persistent research has found much fresh evidence in Italian and Maltese archives. The most recent discovery, announced in Rome last month and based on a postmortem of bones that were probably Caravaggio’s, suggests he died of sunstroke and syphilis, aggravated by lead poisoning from the paints he mixed. This news came too late for Andrew Graham-Dixon’s absorbing biography, which otherwise leaves no stone unturned.

Caravaggio was a violent man living in violent times, but, says the author, he was not “the freak, the misfit, the absolute outsider that he has often been painted to be”

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